CMS Announces New Security Measures Following Butler High Shooting
CHARLOTTE, NC – “School is in lockdown I’m in the 500 hallway I have one male shot.” On Friday, Matthews police released audio recordings from the deadly Butler High School shooting.
The eleven-minute recording reveals the desperate moments after police say Jatwan Cuffie shot and killed Bobby McKiethen during a fight.
“We’re going to need help on this outside of Matthews until we can figure out where our shooter is,” continued the recording.
“This community has to get a grip on what’s going on with guns,” said CMS Supt. Dr. Clayton Wilcox during a news conference.
Wilcox announced multiple ways the district plans to keep guns out of schools. So far this year, seven guns have been found on CMS campuses.
“After this winter’s break we’ll immediately begin conducting random portable security wand checks at high schools,” said Wilcox.
The district has purchased at least 50 wands to be used unannounced at high schools. Wilcox says the process will be similar to security at high school football games.
“We’re going to go into a school on an unpredictable basis and take a look at what everyone is bringing to school,” said Wilcox.
“The problem is that policies like this disproportionately affect students of color and students in poor income areas,” said Audrey Kell High School Junior Luke Drago.
He says random won’t cut it.
“We might not be able to stop students fighting, but we can stop what they’re fighting with. Metal detectors are a necessity,” said Drago.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney prefers walk-through metal detectors, but says wanding is a good start.
“I want the best possible and as the chief that’s my job,” said Putney, “anything that gets us towards that, I’m good with. And this is a huge first step in my opinion.”
Wilcox announced other security measures including, additional cameras, more counselors, and upgraded main door entry systems. But he says walk through metal detectors aren’t realistic.
“One of the things we could not reconcile was queuing up hundreds or even thousands of kids outside of our high schools because we thought that created another set of factors that we simply couldn’t control,” said Wilcox.
Most of the security upgrades will begin after the winter break. Wilcox says the school system is also exploring ways to monitor student’s public social media activity while on campus.